If you want people to stay on your website, you need it to be extraordinary. Design is one important aspect that makes all the difference in the world — that is if you play your cards right. But how can you determine what style, color or theme will work best for your website? Even if you get them right, how can you make navigation simple?
There are a ton of questions that must be answered before you go ahead with designing your website. As complicated as it may seem, you can design an effective website by ensuring it is interesting for your target audience. But is there anything else that needs to be taken into consideration during website development? To make things simpler, and to aid you in your cause, here are a couple of things you should know before designing your website.
Always Keep Your Target Audience in Mind
The only reason you design your website is for your target audience, so keep them in mind at all times. But that is not all, you will find out more about them.
While designing just about any website, the process begins with identifying your target audience and their queries, and it only ends when you address those queries.
What information does your target audience look for? What do they inquire about more often? How well can you design a website that will address these queries? These are just a few of many questions that you need to find answers to. By doing so you will be able to identify your target audience clearly and create an outline for the website you need to aim for.
Check Your Competition
There is absolutely no harm in seeing what your competition has done with their website. Gather as much useful information as you possibly can about your competitors, and even those from other industries. Note down effective design elements, or find the inspiration you need to take your website development to a whole new level.
Under no circumstance should you copy another website nor should you use the same old formulae. You must get creative, so don’t be afraid to try new things. Your website represents your brand, so why not make sure it stands out from the rest of the crowd?
Make Navigation as Simple as Possible
If you want visitors to stick around, pay close attention to the layout of your website. With a well-designed layout, the navigation will be a breeze.
When visitors land on your website, they should be able to find the information they need with ease. A cluttered website with excessive information will most likely cause visitors to move to another website.
Incorporate Relevant Content
Having a user-friendly design for your website is not enough; you need the right kind of content to complement it.
Enough emphasis cannot be placed on the fact that content is king, since it is what gets indexed on Google. For this reason, the content on your website needs to be valuable and unique. If the content is original, relevant and fresh, you will see an increase in traffic, which will in turn improve your website’s rankings.
Once you have your content, think about images. Consider where you will be getting your images from. There are a couple of options you can look into, such as taking images yourself for starters. It is a cheap and quick way to get the images you need for your website. But if you are not a good photographer, you may need to hire a professional — although it can be expensive.
Another option would be to use stock images. You can actually find some really good images for your website without breaking your bank in the process. The best thing about this option is that you will have a lot of choice. The only problem is that the images are generic as best — they might not be able to represent your brand the way you thought of.
Make sure it is SEO Friendly
No matter what kind of website you are working on, it has to be SEO friendly. Incorporate relevant keywords throughout your content.
Since search engines display results based on the usage of keywords, stick to keywords without being too repetitive. Stick to the permissible limits, using too many keywords is considered unethical after all. At the same time, make sure you include articles and blogs in your SEO plan to redirect more traffic to your website.
Use Call to Action
If you want to convert visits into leads, your best bet would be to use calls to action. Mostly, visitors sticking around on your website for longer have a greater chance of becoming potential customers. For this reason, your website design should have enough call to action so that visitors are encouraged to take a step further.
Call to action can include, and are not limited to:
- Sign Up
- Query Form
- Download Now
Make it Mobile-Friendly
More than 2 billion people access the internet on mobile devices, which is why it is imperative your website has to be mobile-friendly. Additionally, Google’s latest algorithm gives mobile-friendly sites top priority, so you will need to take it seriously, unless you want your website to be punished with lower search results.
Create a Timeline
Designing a website involves making decisions, delivering content, and giving directions to the development team. Create a timeline with realistic deadlines. Be flexible and fair while reporting back to your manager about when each stage of the website can be delivered.
A great website constantly goes through changes. New content and design elements should be implemented based on user feedback.
Remember, designing a website is not something you do once and forget about it for good. It is an ongoing process that requires research, time and money to be successful.
Whether you are into B2B business, research activities, or e-commerce, each and every website needs to serve a basic purpose that it is designed for in the first place – to redirect traffic and convert visitors. With a bit of planning, designing the website you want can be simple. But most importantly, out of all the factors mentioned above, make sure your website is responsive and is capable of multiscreen viewing.
Your only goal is to enhance your website’s user experience at the end of the day, which is only possible with smart design. However, if you are having difficulties designing your website, there is no harm in seeking professional help. Once you get the hang of things, and only then, you should take charge.